Trial Run: By: Alexis Stein

A story worth reading..

So I started to freak. With a trip booked to Italy on my credit card, my debt rose from a three-digit number to a four. I needed to make some cash and fast. The only dough I am currently receiving is a very small weekly unemployment check – a result of being laid off by a lousy advertising job and a bitch to get. My only option for cash had to be under the table. I was desperate. Prostitution? Drug dealing? Not gonna lie, it crossed my mind. My options weren’t looking to good, but then it came to me… how about babysitting? Yes! I thought to myself. Kids love me and I can totally suck up to the 30 something moms desperate for a night out. Perfect

I signed up for EVERY possible online babysitting service you can think of. Aupairworld, sittercity, care.com – the list goes on. A few days go by and prospects aren’t looking good. Eureka! I find a family relatively close by with two kids and they want me to start ASAP. Before they fully commit to me as the new sitter, they want to have a “trial run” to make sure I am a good fit. Fine, I think, they will love me.

Tuesday rolls around and I show up to the house. Two of the cutest kids I have ever met. 3 and 16 months – lots of fun with big smiles and warm hellos. A quick chat with their mom and I’m off to a park by the bay. 16 month in the stroller, 3 year old by my side. We walk a few blocks and make it to a grassy hill close to the water. The kids want to stop and play before we make our way to the park. We play tag, ring around the rosy, and all those other games kids love to play. They spot the bay. The 3 year old tells me they like to put their feet in to feel the water. Ok, I think, harmless. We get down to the sand and the little one runs and jumps head first in the water. Fully clothed and all. Thinking it’s hilarious, the older follows his lead. Their clothes are soaked and I decide to undress them, lay their clothes in the sun to dry and let them stay in the water for a while. Meanwhile, the stroller is still back by the grassy hill. The thought crosses my mind “should I get the stroller? Goldfish crackers, a blanket, a ball and oh ya.. my purse containing half my life. No, we are in a good neighborhood, it will be fine and I really don’t feel like hearing cries and pleads from the kids who want to stay in the water.” I’d say about an hour goes by. The miniature sized pants and shirts are still pretty damp, but I finally convince the kids to come out.

I dress them and we head back to the grassy hill to get the stroller and make our way to the park. The very thing I dreaded and thought would never happen did. The stroller was gone. Stolen. Oh my god, I think… I have lost my wallet, car keys, phone and not to mention a very high class and expensive stroller. This mom is going to hate me and what’s worse… I am stuck at her house until I can find a ride out of there, but I have to go back. The kids and I make our way back to the house.

“Hi” I say frantically.

“We lost the stroller and my entire purse was in it.”

WHAT!! She is shocked and on top of it her kids are wet, sandy, cranky and ready for a nap. She quickly runs a bath as she explains how upset and angry she is. I apologize as much as humanly possible while I dial every phone number I know by heart from her cell phone to find a ride. No one answers. I am stuck with a mom who thinks I am the worst and most irresponsible babysitter to walk the planet. Of course, my boyfriend and I had broken up the night before and the he happens to be one of the only numbers I know by heart and the only person that answers. “Hi, I know we just broke up, but this is an emergency and I need you to come pick me up.” He is on his lunch break at work and agrees to come get me and take me home. I awkwardly await his arrival. He finally shows up and I book it out of the house as fast as I can all the while still apologizing.

I tell him what happens and he pulls out his phone. We both have iphones and he tells me he is going to try and track my phone with an app he has. He does and to my surprise, the iphone locates my phone and at a house close by. We cross a couple streets and head to the area the map has pinpointed. I knock on the door of the house the phone is supposedly at and a little old lady comes to the door. When I say, “little old lady” I am talking “little old lady.” She is probably around 90 and still dressed in her nightgown and matching slippers. I tell her my predicament and she tells me she knows nothing about a stroller and hasn’t been down around the bay in who knows how long. She does say that her son might have been around there tanning, but knows he would never take a child’s stroller. I am slightly perplexed, but think the phone may be at one of the neighboring houses. With the old lady keeping a close watch on our search, my ex-boyfriend and I knock on house after house and as time goes by, we realize we are out of luck. Just as I am about to give up, the old lady comes walking out of the back gate.

“I found a stroller by my boat, is this one yours?” Relief fills my panic stricken body.

“I swear I didn’t put it here, I have no idea how it got here” she tells me.

At this point, I don’t care if she’s lying or not. I take the stroller, thank her and run back to kids house. The mom is in utter shock when I return 15 minutes later with the untouched stroller. Nothing has been stolen or ruined. She thanks me and tells me that even thought the trial run was a catastrophe, she thinks I am a good person and knows it was not my fault. I return home, exhausted, relived and shocked at the day’s events. I think in the history of babysitting “Trial Runs” … mine had to be at least in the top 10 most weird, crazy and hilarious.

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